The best picture books for spreading love on Valentine’s Day

Brandi Dougherty Author Of The Littlest Valentine
By Brandi Dougherty

Who am I?

I am a New York Times Bestselling author of more than twenty children’s picture books and chapter books as well as a mom to two young kids. Nothing fills me with more joy than reading to children and witnessing how a story can open up their hearts and minds. And Valentine’s Day is a holiday that brings me extra joy because it’s all about spreading love and friendship. I love Valentine’s Day so much that I’ve written two picture books about it!


I wrote...

The Littlest Valentine

By Brandi Dougherty, Michelle Todd (illustrator),

Book cover of The Littlest Valentine

What is my book about?

Emma may be the littlest in the Valentine family, but she knows that she has what it takes to help the family business get ready for the holiday. But Emma just can't seem to do things the right way like the bigger members of her family, no matter how hard she tries. When Emma finds a lost puppy, who is little just like she is, she discovers a heartwarming way to make Valentine’s Day an even bigger success. 

The books I picked & why

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Love Monster and the Last Chocolate

By Rachel Bright,

Book cover of Love Monster and the Last Chocolate

Why this book?

My kids never get tired of hearing this story! Love Monster is an adorable hero who faces a bit of a struggle when he discovers a box of chocolates waiting on his doorstep. At first, he wants to keep the yummy treats all to himself. But then his heart gets this squeezy feeling and he decides to share them with his friends. Little does he know, but Love Monster’s friends have a surprise waiting for him! This story is a great lesson in not jumping to conclusions, and in keeping your heart open. 


Here Comes Valentine Cat

By Deborah Underwood, Claudia Rueda (illustrator),

Book cover of Here Comes Valentine Cat

Why this book?

This is a great story about keeping your heart open and not making snap judgments. Cat does not like Valentine’s Day and has no interest in celebrating it. He especially does not want to celebrate with his new neighbor, Dog. After all, Dog has been throwing things over the fence at Cat! How rude. But just went Cat decides to tell Dog exactly what he thinks, Cat gets an unexpected surprise—and maybe even a new friend too! This is such a funny and sweet story full of humor and heart.  


I Love You More Than Ice Cream

By Becky Davies, Lala Watkins (illustrator),

Book cover of I Love You More Than Ice Cream

Why this book?

For me, this book works wonders as a sweet Valentine to my kids and a bedtime book we reach for over and over again. The bold and bright illustrations are super fun, and the rhyming text is silly and unexpected. In this story, a young girl details her bedtime routine with all the members of her familyincluding her dogas they say how much they love each other. This fun story always prompts my kids and I to come up with our own “I love you more than” comparisons, too. 


Porcupine Cupid

By Jason June, Lori Richmond (illustrator),

Book cover of Porcupine Cupid

Why this book?

Porcupine’s clueless optimism and the adorably expressive illustrations by Lori Richmond are what draw me into this fun book. Porcupine is excited to make some love matches on Valentine’s Day by using his quills like cupid’s arrows. But what he doesn’t realize is that his pokes are making everybody mad instead! With a forest full of angry animals on his hands, Porcupine calls a meeting that ends up bringing the friends together with love after all. And even Porcupine gets a Valentine of his own. 


The Day It Rained Hearts

By Felicia Bond,

Book cover of The Day It Rained Hearts

Why this book?

This book has so much quiet, creative sweetness in it, and I just love the theme of using what you find to make something special. Cornelia Augusta discovers that it’s raining hearts one day, so she gathers them up. As she examines each heart, she sees how unique they areand she decides to make Valentines with them to send to her animal friends. This book is also a perfect way to jump-start craft time for making Valentine’s Day cards. 


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Valentine's Day, dogs, and chocolate?

5,809 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Valentine's Day, dogs, and chocolate.

Valentine's Day Explore 9 books about Valentine's Day
Dogs Explore 252 books about dogs
Chocolate Explore 19 books about chocolate

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Lilly's Chocolate Heart, Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch, and Romancing the Billionaire if you like this list.